How to Identify a Multi-Ligament Knee Injury
For patients suffering from multi-ligament knee injuries, it is advised that they seek immediate medical attention because of the risk of more severe injury to the neurovascular structures of the leg. In these cases where the blood supply to the leg is affected, the entire leg may be at risk.
When a patient presents with a multi-ligament injury to the knee, Dr. Boykin will perform a history and physical examination to decide what structures have been injured. If the knee has dislocated, it will be reduced (placed back into joint) immediately. X-rays will be ordered to determine if there is any injury to the bone. An MRI will typically be ordered to assess the ligaments in more detail, and if a vascular injury is suspected, a CT scan with dye will be performed to look at the blood vessels. In cases of vascular injury a consultation with a vascular surgeon will be obtained.
Multi-Ligament Knee Surgery
The vast majority of multi-ligament knee injuries require a complex knee surgery. Depending on which ligaments are injured, Dr. Boykin may recommend immediate surgery to restore stability to the knee and prevent further damage. In other cases the surgery may be delayed to allow swelling to decrease and for the patient to regain some range of motion prior to surgery. During this surgery complete repair or reconstruction of all torn ligaments is performed. Sutures as well as other techniques are used in order to reattach ligaments that may have detached and address ligament or capsular tears that are able to be repaired. For other ligaments a graft, which is typically donated, will be used for reconstruction. Dr. Boykin believes in attempting to perform all of the necessary procedures in one setting when possible.
For more information on multi-ligament knee injuries, or for additional resources on complex knee injuries involving multiple ligaments, please contact Dr. Robert Boykin orthopedic knee surgeon serving Asheville, Arden, Fletcher and surrounding North Carolina communities.